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Abstract

A number of deep neural networks have been proposed to improve the performance of document ranking in information retrieval studies. However, the training processes of these models usually need a large scale of labeled data, leading to data shortage becoming a major hindrance to the improvement of neural ranking models’ performances. Recently, several weakly supervised methods have been proposed to address this challenge with the help of heuristics or users’ interaction in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) to generate weak relevance labels. In this work, we adopt two kinds of weakly supervised relevance, BM25-based relevance and click model-based relevance, and make a deep investigation into their differences in the training of neural ranking models. Experimental results show that BM25-based relevance helps models capture more exact matching signals, while click model-based relevance enhances the rankings of documents that may be preferred by users. We further proposed a cascade ranking framework to combine the two weakly supervised relevance, which significantly promotes the ranking performance of neural ranking models and outperforms the best result in the last NTCIR-13 We Want Web (WWW) task. This work reveals the potential of constructing better document retrieval systems based on multiple kinds of weak relevance signals.

Abstract

The study aims to reveal the role of social media and its influence on information sharing within public organizations and emphasis on the distribution affordance to facilitate information processes. Existing literature emphasized different aspects of social media in the public sector to promote the relationship between government and citizens or provide better public service, for example, innovation, policies, openness, and communication. However, there is a wide gap in the literature to investigate social media use and information sharing within public organizations. The current study tries to accomplish the goal by conducting semi-structured interviews with 15 employees in public organizations in Chaohu city, China and applying content analysis on the interviews. Despite the existing literature, the targeted group for this study is divided into three levels (i) senior-level, (ii) middle-level, and (iii) junior-level employees to get a better view of social media. The study is based on grounded theory for coding analysis. We provide an overview of social media use within Chinese public organizations and discuss five social media affordances involved in the public organizations. Finally, we provide the implications, limitations, recommendation, and future research of this research area.

Abstract

Danmu function as an augmented comment feature has been adopted by almost all live streaming platforms to foster interaction between viewers and the streamer in China. However, few studies have been conducted to understand the determinants of users’ Danmu sending behavior on live streaming platforms. This study examines this phenomenon from the lens of effectance theory and the S-O-R framework. We propose that two effectances – Danmu effectance and live streaming effectance – play an essential role in active Danmu participation. In addition, we explore the effects of time-enhanced (synchronicity) and space-enhanced technical characteristic (visibility) of Danmu on live streaming platforms on two effectances. Data analysis of 877 participations from Douyu platform in mainland China indicates that active Danmu participation is positively associated with Danmu effectance and live streaming effectance which are influenced by both time-enhanced technical feature (synchronicity) and space-enhanced technical feature (visibility). In addition, the study finds that demographic characteristics, namely education and income, also affect active Danmu participation.

Abstract

The aim of this work is to provide the logical sustainability model for defined contribution pension systems (see [1], [2]) in the discrete framework under stochastic financial rate of the pension system fund and stochastic productivity of the active participants. In addition, the model is developed in the assumption of variable mortality tables.

Under these assumptions, the evolution equations of the fundamental state variables, the pension liability and the fund, are provided. In this very general discrete framework, the necessary and sufficient condition of the pension system sustainability, and all the other basic results of the logical sustainability theory, are proved.

In addition, in this work new results on the efficiency of the rule for the stabilization over time of the level of the unfunded pension liability with respect to wages, level that is defined as β indicator, are also proved.

Abstract

Effective Stakeholder Management (ESM) has been identified as one of the key requirements for successful project delivery by several scholars. This study, aimed at improving the chances of achieving successful Multifarious Infrastructure Projects’ (MIPs) delivery in Nigeria, was conducted through literature review, questionnaire survey and Relative Importance Index (RII) method of data analysis. The study identified 39 barriers to ESM in the delivery of MIPs in Nigeria, evaluated their respective impacts on projects’ delivery and ranked the barriers in ascending order of their respective impact levels. Failure to understand stakeholders’ needs and expectations, uncooperative attitude of stakeholders, failure to identify key stakeholders, failure to identify potential conflict areas, project manager’s poor knowledge of stakeholder management (SM), late identification of stakeholders, issuance of incorrect information to stakeholders, lack of stakeholder engagement/involvement, conflicts between stakeholders, misunderstanding of roles by stakeholders, lack of fairness and equity for all stakeholders and lack of continuity in SM process were ranked as the ten top barriers, in descending order, with highest levels of impact against ESM in MIPs delivery. The study also provided MIPs managers with an insight on the barriers to address/focus on in order to achieve ESM in the delivery of their projects. The study concluded that there was need to pay special attention to the above barriers due to their high impact level on ESM and improve current approaches to stakeholder management in MIPs delivery in order to improve the success rate of the projects. The study recommends development and effective implementation of an appropriate strategy for handling stakeholder management in the delivery of MIPs and other projects.

Abstract

System-wide performance analysis of manufacturing setup helps a company to stay competitive. This can be done by selecting appropriate performance analysis tool which can save time and effort. As a problem assembly line systems are difficult to completely model and analyze using either of analytical or discrete-event simulation (DES) models. The main objective of this study is to analyze the distinct modeling capabilities of analytical modeling approach and DES approach so as to take their respective primacy for analysis of particular pertinent parameters suitable for Tana Communication (TC assembly line). Both analytical and discrete-event simulation models are developed for TC production process using decomposition approach and AnyLogic software. The results from the two models for work in process, queue cycle time, cycle time and resource utilization have high degree of agreement. By making reassignment of operators from the idle stage to the bottleneck stage the system waiting time and work in process is reduced by 12% and 13% respectively from the proposed model.

Abstract

The key players in the construction industry are the construction companies. However, the level of contract awards among multinational and indigenous construction companies in most developing countries is poorly understood. This research aim at determining the level of contract awards among multinational and indigenous construction companies. The research employed a quantitative approach using both primary and secondary method of data collection to achieve the stated objective. Purposive sample techniques were used for collecting both the primary and secondary data. Structured questionnaires were administered to 70 construction professionals and contractors to determine the factors responsible for low indigenous contractor’s participation and award of contracts. Primary and secondary data were collected, and the findings reveal that 65% of the contract awards between 2002 and 2012 were won by the multinational construction companies. While the lack of requisite skill and technical know-how with a percentage severity index (SI) score of 97% was responsible for low indigenous construction companies awards. This result indicates that the multinational construction companies are dominating the construction industry.

Abstract

This non-experimental correlational study extends previous research investigating the relationship between project management methodology and reported project success, as well as the moderating variables of industry and project manager experience. The sample included North American project managers with five years’ experience, 25 years of age or older, and experience with multiple project management methodologies. The survey instrument consisted of 58 questions, utilizing a 5-point Likert scale to record responses. The survey contained three sections, including demographic information, questions related to a successful project, and questions related to a less-than successful (failed / challenged) project. 367 usable responses were received. The examination of the constructs included Pearson’s correlation coefficient as well as linear regression to determine the impact of moderating variables. Results indicated that project management methodology has a weak correlation with reported project success, and this correlation is not moderated by industry nor project manager experience. The results did not align with previously conducted studies, illustrating a need to continue the study of methods impacting success including investigating additional moderating variables.

Abstract

Over the past three decades, an increasing trend has been observed in research related to the consideration of human factors instead of solely based on the traditional aspects of project and operations management. However, much of the research done to date on human aspects has been conducted in developed countries in Europe, America and Australia, leaving developing countries, especially those in Africa, deprived of similar research. The purpose of the paper is to bridge this gap in knowledge by comparing the soft factors in the two contexts in order to provide an understanding of whether they have the same level of importance, regardless of their differences in economic, social and environmental aspects. The authors used semi-structured interviews to identify the critical soft factors for optimum performance of maintenance operations at a natural gas processing plant in Tanzania. The uncovered soft factors included top management engagement and oversight, trainings, ergonomics, collaboration, safety and security, recognition programs, and education and career growth. There was a high degree of conformity between the soft factors uncovered in the Tanzanian context and those in other African countries and other developing countries around the world. However, there was also conformity between the soft factors uncovered in developing and developed countries, which only differed in the level of the emphasis they placed on implementation.